Mar 6, 2017

"Clean Brexit" Sounds Like a Horse That Hits the First Fence in the Grand National and Gets Shot in the Teeth

By Frankie Boyle / facebook.com
"Clean Brexit" Sounds Like a Horse That Hits the First Fence in the Grand National and Gets Shot in the Teeth
Ministers for Brexit: Liam Fox, Boris Johnson, and David Davi

Theresa May was defeated in the Lords last week, and ever since has worn the appalled expression of a famously strict headmistress who has intercepted a note being passed between pupils that turns out to be a breathtakingly vivid representation of a masturbating werewolf. It will certainly be a dark day for democracy if an unelected second chamber thwarts the will of our unelected Prime Minister.

I quite enjoyed the EU referendum, in the way that I quite enjoy a horror movie. It was a lot of fun to see people who know more about the Ministry of Magic than the EU get so deeply passionate about politics. And it would be a hard heart that couldn't take some amusement in watching May now travel to Europe with the awkward air of someone trying to track down exes to discuss herpes management. I'm not saying Brexit will be all bad. Exports for example will thrive, because the pound will be worthless.

People who wrote a lie in three foot high letters on the side of a bus and drove it around the country now want to pretend that none of us actually saw it and that it never really happened, like a particularly ambitious episode of Derren Brown. Although the most audacious lie I’ve ever seen written on the side of a bus has still got to be ‘free high speed wifi for all passengers’. The sad thing is that the NHS is going to need all those extra millions. For the islands it will have to build to house all the staff who’ll have to commute beyond our national boundary each nightfall. It seems beyond the Tories to even think what to brand the looming disaster. "Clean Brexit" sounds like a horse that hits the first fence in the Grand National and gets shot in the teeth.

The most amusing intervention so far was when someone decided that the electorate's anger at out of touch elites might be best addressed by Tony Blair. If even Tony doesn’t think he make a convincing case for Brexit then it must be bad, as only a few years ago he was confident he could spin a massacre of striking oil workers by the dictator of Kazakhstan. Of course having a go at Blair is like shooting fish in a barrel. Or to put it in terms he'd understand, shooting missiles to within a hundred yards of a fish barrel that doesn't actually exist, concealed somewhere in a densely populated residential area. I’m not going to say Blair’s greedy just because he’s amassed an immense property portfolio. For all we know he and Cherie just love hide and seek. You’d think Tony would be more tanned after his years as Middle East peace envoy. I suppose that’s just testimony to how well billowing clouds of smoke block ultra violet light.

The suspicion is that May has appointed three ministers 'responsible" for Brexit so that they can function as ballast, one to be discarded at each fresh disaster. I’m not saying Boris Johnson isn’t mentally up to the task but apparently the BBC are working on a new show where Gareth Malone tries to form a passable choir from the voices in his head. Boris’s actual purpose? He’s just there to divert us from the horrific things the government’s planning, like a nodding dog stuck to a serial killer’s dashboard. The media has a lot to answer for in terms of promoting the image that Boris is sweet and cuddly, when in fact he’s more like Oswald Moseley’s soul trapped in a Furby. Who knows what was on Boris's Eton report cards, but my guess is "lacks a clear moral code", followed by a VG and an exclamation mark.

David Davies is one of that growing brand of libertarians who believe we should all be free to serve authoritarian governments. Of the three Brexit ministers he seems the most puzzling. Perhaps his presence serves some arcane internal party function best understood by the Kremlinologists of the Conservative Party. He certainly doesn't seem to do much, and would currently envy the power available to a triple-A battery in a flood-damaged pound shop.

Liam Fox has a more obvious role, in that he has experience that ties him in with a host of appalling US corporate interests. As a former Defence Secretary, he's also an indicator of the importance assigned to arms sales in the Tories' vision of our post EU economy. Apparently we already offer the Saudi govt ‘financing’, letting them buy the most devastating military hardware in the same way as you get a new sofa. Fox probably screens them adverts where Martin Kemp’s got his feet up on a cannon saying there’s a double discount sale on AK-47s this bank holiday. The suspicion must be that Fox is there to facilitate a trade deal with the US, and it's certainly exciting to think what a trade deal with a protectionist, proto-fascist state might look like. Opening the NHS to wholesale privatisation is probably at the lower end of what they'll demand.

Our government is attracted to the Trump Administration because they have a large ideological overlap. Of course it's impossible these days to admit to being ideologically driven without sounding like you're going to blow yourself up on a tram, so they use the codeword "values". They have shared values, of not caring about whether the planet can survive, or whether people who've lived there for years can stay in a country, and a general attitude towards the less fortunate of "This is Sparta". I know people say that the Conservatives have been thrown by the lack of a viable Opposition, but really I think that lasted all of five minutes before they just grunted and got on with the job of destroying their host society.

It must be depressing being Jeremy Corbyn. Knowing that your chance of becoming Prime Minister is so slim even the MI6 group working on how to discretely bump you off have packed it in. Formulating a plan to take out Prime Minister Corbyn must seem as pointless as doing an essay set by a supply teacher. He has the defeated look of someone who’s tried and failed to talk a friend into leaving Mama Mia during the interval. In these times where every day throws up a sexy new Nazi with a catchphrase, the traditional left seems hopelessly foggy and aloof. The clunky qualifications of inclusive language take the field every day against demotic hate memes and are mown down, using their final bloody breaths to ask whether war metaphors are really appropriate. In a society filled with bias, maybe the language has an inherent bias too. How can the Right be wrong? They sound like they're right. The Left sounds like a generic term for the people who weren’t allowed in a nuclear bunker due to personal hygiene issues. It's not that socialists don't have a better case, but the intrinsic concision of our media makes it much more difficult to outline a constructive position. Far easier to churn out hateful soundbites, as I feel I've fully illustrated over a series of standup tours.

As a society, we've managed to kick the racism out of football and back into mainstream politics. UKIP has modelled a nationalism that the Conservatives, unburdened by any real principles, have been able to adopt wholesale. UKIP supporters are often full of contradictions. Banging on about deporting foreign sex offenders, yet happily paying for subscriptions to watch the Premiership. Some say that with Brexit the party will lose it's raison d'etre, but I can't help feeling that their raison d'etre is hating foreigners and they may be around for a while yet. My guess is our government is less nationalist than it is corporatist, and will reject UKIP's central idea of a points based immigration system because British business wants access to low paid workers. Indeed, the most effective way of getting the British government to accept it's fair share of refugees might be to abolish the minimum wage.

In Britain and the US, there has been an eager embrace of the economically abandoned white electorate. It's almost as if our media feels more comfortable talking about white people instead of all those tiresome identity groups. But why should economics take precedence over identity, especially when a lot of people are economically affected by their identity? Paid less because they're black, not promoted because they're a woman? Yes, there are people who have been exploited economically who are angry at what the status quo has delivered. But - and this seems to be a very difficult idea for some commentators - the white ones aren't special. Perhaps it would be more useful to frame any message to those people around the fact that they are twitching in a vast predatory financial and corporate spider's web that soon plans to rob them of even basic healthcare. Maybe then they can be persuaded to get over their rage that they can't understand a conversation between two strangers on a bus, something which any sane person would accept as a blessed relief.

Rather than accepting widespread racism as a given, and really on a moral level you might as well die, it might be better to point out the things that actually do bond Britain's disaffected electorate: they have shared class interests. Indeed one of the beauties of increasing inequality is that more and more of us have shared class interests. What in previous decades would have seemed disparate strata of British society are now increasingly gathered together in each other's kitchens trying to think of ways to keep their local libraries and hospitals open.

Increasingly I feel that all honesty can achieve nowadays is to alienate both sides of an argument. The EU is all sorts of different kinds of dreadful, but it's not a far-right superpower. The most sensible thing to do, bleak as it sounds, would be to use the Brexit result to renegotiate EU membership, waiting to check that France doesn't go fascist in the meantime. In any case, if European banks have insured themselves heavily in the City of London - and nobody seems to be obliged to tell us whether they have - after Brexit we may be as deeply attached to the fate of the Eurozone as we were before.

They say it's the hope that kills you, so we should be OK.

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